Joe Lhota, it seems, wants to finish the job that Governor Nelson Rockefeller started. Speaking to the Staten Island Advance last week, the frontrunner laid out the most ambitious transportation proposal yet of the 2013 mayoral race: give New York City back its bridges and tunnels.
“The former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” the editorial board wrote, “said that if he were to be elected mayor, he would seek to get full mayoral control of the bridges and tunnels in the city.”
Aside from the untolled East River bridges that belong to the city—the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro bridges—major river crossings between the five boroughs belong to the state, under the guise of the MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
Michael Bloomberg's campaign office has released a "Mass Transit Reform Plan" that contains some obvious components, like reinstatement of express service on the F train, and some more ambitious-sounding ones, like "open road and gateless tolling" in "West and Northeast Queens, South and East Bronx, North Brooklyn, North Manhattan and the East Read More
ALBANY—State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, the chair of the chamber's transportation committee, had to think for a minute when asked just now if action to help bridge the M.T.A.'s deficit was on the back burner.
"I think the budget bill is the priority," he said, before emphasizing that negotiations are still ongoing. He Read More
ALBANY—Most Democratic state senators have spent the day defending themselves from reporters asking if they feel responsible for the M.T.A. fare hikes. The answers are variations on it's not our fault and the M.T.A. should have worked with us.
State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, the chairman of his chamber's transportation committee, told me Read More
ALBANY—Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver just said any M.T.A. fare hike is "unacceptable" and is pointing blame toward Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
In a statement emailed to reporters Silver wrote:
"Let me be clear, the Assembly Majority is ready to pass a plan to save the MTA and prevent a massive fare hike. Read More
ALBANY—About forty hours before the M.T.A. board will vote on whether to adopt a "doomsday budget" (unless state lawmakers enact a revenue package), Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith left a closed-door meeting with the other members of the state government troika. He had no good news.
"I'm not saying the deadline is of Read More
ALBANY—It seems that Malcolm Smith and the Senate Democrats have come up with a plan that's easy to hate.
Transportation advocates, business groups and the governor are all taking shots at the Senate majority leader's just-announced plan to address the M.T.A.'s budget shortfall.
Near as I can tell, Wiley Norvell of Transportation Read More
ALBANY—Democrats in the State Senate finally have a plan they say will plug the M.T.A.'s current $1.2 billion operating deficit with a payroll tax and four percent fare increase, but does not address the authority's long-term spending needs.
"It deals with their short-term challenge on operation, and we will deal with Read More
ALBANY—Here's a group of state senators–many of whom opposed bridge tolls–getting ready to present their own M.T.A. plan, which does not have tolls.
For the truly devoted: NY1 is carrying the event live. Read More
ALBANY—Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is unrolling a plan to bail out the M.T.A. that does not include any bridge tolls, scraps plans for a regional bus authority and calls for a payroll tax that's lower than the one in other proposed M.T.A. plans the commuter tax, a source familiar with the framework Read More